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Discussion in 'The Tone Zone' started by mad5066, Mar 4, 2020.
The advice on this thread is amazing. Thanks to everyone that commented. We all want to improve our playing. Personally, this thread is exactly what I needed to read today. Thanks again guys.
A bit of music theory helps, just be able to read a scale from a staff is very helpful to learn other scales and perhaps go modal. If you want to spice up your harmony with your leads, try to look into harmonic major modes: Lydian flat3 and Phrygian flat4 (makam saba zamzam) sound very interesting over minor and technically over major as well chords as well as harmonic major (maqam shawq afza) obviously over major chords and Mixolydian b2 (maqam Zanjaran) over dominant cords or from the fifth of minor and technically also major chords you can play doubleflat7 locrian.
Enjoy your spicy journey.
There are people who can make a 12 bar interesting. But not many. Reverse engineering that why not set out to make all the 12 bars you play sound amazing?. In order to do that you would have to use your imagination - a sadly underused faculty in a lot of guitar players.
Also recording yourself - as someone said earlier - can teach you/scare you a lot.
I used to make a poor but rewarding living as a singing teacher. Now you know. At the risk of appearing immodest I was very good at it. One girl got a record deal. She never calls, never writes. Even her people dont bother. Anyway the point is I never taught no-one to sing a particular song or a particular style. I taught them to use the instrument God gave them. Then they could go and do what they want with it. Better yet you only need one syllabus.
Practice at 1/2 speed first to warm up and play (or hammer/pull/slide) every note clearly.
Don’t just learn different scales/modes, but learn how to use scales/modes/arpeggios/string skipping stretches of doom etc to create harmonic melodies over chord changes
use a backing track to get tight
play with others to get synchronised
learn different styles and genres of music to develop new ideas and transfer these across into your shreds
play on different guitars to expand your mastery of the instrument
lots of good advice here. we have had tons of threads like this very one over the yrs but
i gotta say, this one is by far the most informative ive read or been involved in.
im guessing that its obvious to most of the readers and posters than in short,
you will get out of it what you put into it. if you want more do more, learn more.
if your in a rut or not improving then you know what you need to do now.
in this craft there is always room to keep moving up the latter. no matter how good you
are there is ALWAYS a teacher out there that can give you direction and teach you something new.
do remember, there is a huge difference between jamming and practicing. one will take you there
and the other is what you do when you get there lol.
Make sure you have an absolute grounding in the pentatonic scale all over the neck, there is almost no limit to this in itself, Eric Johnson would attest to that. There are many ways to group notes, slides, bends, horizontal and vertical movement, string skipping, ascending and descending in different number groupings of notes. When I was exploring this, I named and wrote down all these permutations to remember them. I'm still exploring pentatonic possibilities, and of course diatonic scales, blues scales, harmonic and melodic minor etc, but the pentatonic scale is the heart of blues and rock and cannot be overlooked
Well Guarded Secret (cheating) with a warning:
I developed the guitarzombie method which may help you.
Let me keep it simple (this really IS simple)
But first (obviously) you need to know where to put your fingers. Once you know which notes to play it is a matter practice and muscle memory. Any 1st day guitar player can learn how to play 4 notes over and over.
Obviously most guitar players can remember a lead and play it in their head note for note and can mentally slow down the notes to find them (one note at a time). But there is another way in which I developed years and years ago. Let me explain and give you a simple technique I call the guitarzombie method.
1) Download the free (and open source) program Audacity.
2) Pick a song with a lead that you want to learn and load it into Audacity.
3) Slow down the song without changing pitch. In Audacity choose "EFFECT" then "CHANGE TEMPO" (not change speed which will change the pitch). You will find that the song sounds the same, only slower.
4) You can delete the portions of the song without lead and even copy the lead over and over so that you don't have to keep replaying the song just to get to the lead. (even save as mp3 or wave if you wish).
5) Take the desired lead 4 or 5 notes at a time. You can even copy and paste a particular part of a lead that you are trying to learn over and over with a pause in between and that plays that portion over and over, then add in other parts as you go.
6) You can speed up the tempo gradually (highlight desired cut then choose EFFECT - CHANGE TEMPO) until you reach the original tempo. You can also get backtrack cuts of just about any song so you can put your new skills in context. (advanced: you can even take the song and mostly remove the lead with Audacity to play along with your version of the lead by making stereo tracks mono, inverting (effect-invert) one track and then combining into a single mono track (tracks - mix and render).
I have found leads that have particularly interesting and surprising changes and have said to myself, how the hell did they do that? By slowing down the song and finding the notes on the frets, you can easily surprise yourself. You can find movements later that are helpful for your own creations. I have been amazed at some original lead players' riffs. Using my technique is like getting into their head.
Although often obvious, you can find videos of original artists playing the lead to see what part of the fret they are playing on. I self taught myself money for nothing and it sounded good, then I noticed I was playing on a different portion than the original artist.
WARNING: In my case, by the time I learn a difficult lead, I hate the song. I call this the Stairway to Heaven phenomenon (a great song but heard it so many times you hate it).
You can easily find the Audacity site via google.
This technique is not for everybody, but I hope it helps someone.
Love and peace,
Great suggestions. I tell people I could have been a brain surgeon with the amount of time I put into it. I did learn my scales for ear practice but then you have to figure out how to let go of that and use your brain.
Paul Gilbert is a great teacher who has a lot of videos teaching exactly what you want to learn. I believe he’s also doing instructional videos now with one on one possible.
Welcome to the forum
And welcome to the forum my brother
oh and for fuggs sake practice with a metronome. its a damn must.
and get a cheap looper.
That’s what Bob rock said to Kirk Hammet when they were recording the black album “you didn’t do your homework” lol
Learn to jam to melodic vocal tunes.
Abba, Linda Ronstadt, etc.
Learn to replicate, then respond to the vocal line.
The dreaded metronome........This maybe common knowledge, There's an app for this and can be had for the everyday low price of $free .99, so there really isn't any excuse not to have this in your tool box!
Start a three piece band and work!
Work on more technique like varying damping on the bridge with the side of your palm, bending and vibrato, harmonics with extra attention to learning pinched harmonics used by Alex Lifeson(Rush), Randy Rhoads (Ozzy) and Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top- Sleeping Bag song), i use my pinky on picking hand to slightly touch string furtherest from the pick as possible to get best harmonic response, you get the microtonal sounds that way (tones between fretted notes) and you can play any melody or fretted note using this technique, but it is hard, takes much slight touch and practice. The closer to the pick you slightly touch the string then the weaker the signal or response of the harmonic tone!
Also try using less played scales or modes to move on from simpler pet atomic blues scales used. The seven modes based on major scale: Dorian (2nd), Phrygian (3rd Jazzy), Lydian (4th), Mixolydian (5th like Major), Aeolian (6th like Minor) and Lachrian (7th Dark sounding & dissonant) Also Egyptian scales are different- Walk like an Egyptian. And sometimes just Fuck the Scales and play totally chromatic and play any and/or All of the 12 tones per octave you want just shedding the chains of music theory.
Practice Makes Perject!!
Ever try occasionally finger picking on electric, turned up loud for harmonic distortion (in tune with tonic with tubes and MOSFET transistors only since BJT's only produce white noise distortion in the power section of amps - that's why tube amps give that warm sound with gaseous medium inside tubes, while MOSFETs and FETs, field effect transistors are solid state and less responsive with in-tune harmonic distortion than gas containing vacuum tubes.
OLD SCHOOL FLORIDA GATOR Electrical Engineer Hard Rock Guitarist here, Good Luck Bro!!
dreaded now, beloved later.
i personally found it best to over time outgrow the metronome by becoming familiar enough with a song and lyrics, if singing also, like with my originals, that the true "metronome" or timekeeper be within oneself once the song is mastered, so it is like your heartbeat is keeping time and you almost breathe with the song, so no timing mistakes are made, and if they are on a rare occasion, you just kind of slur a note to be back in time on the next note. A good drummer and i used to do this with a lesser musician bassist who would sometimes miss a beat while singing songs of his and not realizing he was missing a beat or half beat while singing and playing bass. Because of the initial difficulty of singing and playing songs at the same time, many intermediate and even advanced players don't realize they are doing this while driving some other band members crazy who have difficulty dealing with it when the misbeats are coming from the person trying to lead the other band members on their own song. This guy drove the other guitarist nuts because neither realized that the lesser bassist leading his own song was the sourcebofbthe missed beats and guitarist thought some alternate timing was going on, something way above the skills and paygrade of the bassist bandleader wannabe.
The more you really know the song and its timing inside and out, the better and any rare timing errors will be recovered from onthevvwry next beat by just kind of slurring right into it, then the metronome becomes obsolete.
This internal i bedding of a song and timing inside is invaluable for live performances especially with big audiences where you look just above their heads (unless in a massive stadium I guess) to avoid getting distracted and missing a beat as a result. Just Breathe that Song Baby!!! Nothing like instrumental pieces with no lyrics for a break sometimes...